Clannad’s Storyline Explained


Clannad fans have prepared an explanatory diagram which lays out the storyline of Clannad and Clannad After Story in detail; certainly a handy thing considering how convoluted they appear.

This has found its way onto the Japanese Internet, and even 2ch approves of the diagram…

Needless to say, the diagram contains immense spoilers:


Light orbs? Time travel? Wasn’t this a school romance? At any rate, there is no arguing with its huge popularity… “Clannad is Life“, indeed.

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    Avatar of stewie
    Comment by stewie
    13:55 18/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    As for myself, i thoroughly enjoyed the anime (I haven't watched the visual novel completely yet).

    Anyways, I would've liked even more if it didn't have all that supernatural stuff (and no fuko), it would've been way better, in my view anyways.

    Comment by Rincewind
    03:24 20/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    For me, Clannad needed more Fuko. How someone can possibly not love the eternal loli cuckolander starfish lover? Dozo!!

    Comment by gil
    15:42 18/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    1. Clannad and after Story are FTW
    2. After Story's ending is pretty bad for me
    3. Key is badass VN maker, but i'm glad they did.
    4. hope now for Little Busters! anime or Tomoyo After OVA.

    5. *throw salt to troll*

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:43 27/04/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Little Busters! is gonna be animated soon!

    Comment by AsukaRED
    16:31 18/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    People sure go out of their way to post their hate comments on Clannad don't they? And they do it in a manner as if they've published a better story and attracted as many fans as Key has.

    I enjoyed how After Story turned out. It was one of those scenes that plays on emotional moments so well that people can look past rationality and consistency and still enjoy it.

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:34 19/03/2009 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Gotta love it when idiots use that as an excuse. YOU CAN'T CRITICIZE ______ BECAUSE YOU'VE NEVER MADE ANYTHING BETTER. Let me turn that retardation around on you: you've never made anything worse than Clannad, so you're not allowed to sing its praises! Sounds ridiculous right? Well it's using the same faulty logic.

    Listen, people are perfectly capable of criticism without being MASTER CREATORS at whatever it is they happen to be criticizing. I don't have to be a brilliant composer to know I don't like a song and why, and anyone who suggests otherwise should be criticized as being a dolt...but only by people who have managed to be stupider than them. ROLLEYES.GIF

    If people had to create something or be someone better than something or someone they don't like before obtaining a license to criticize said noun, we'd all have to give glowing reviews of EVERYTHING. I don't know about you, but I wouldn't want to have to live in that world.

    The most ironic part of this vacuous arguement is that the very people who bring it up no doubt routinely criticise things at which they're not particularly proficient, or in other words, "have never made anything better."

    Yep, that makes you a hypocrite, buddy.

    Furthermore, it makes no difference how many emo faggots love Key. Popularity is not a universal quantifier of quality. NASCAR is beloved by millions and millions of people...does that automatically make it good? Everyone in the world used to believe that it was flat...did that make it flat? The answer to these and all questions like them is a resounding NO. In logical debate, this is what's known as an 'argumentum ad populum' fallacy.

    tl;dr - You birdbrained teens need to turn away from the ever-present video screen in your life and read a goddamned book some time. That way you'll actually have two brain cells to rub together, so you can actually come up with a cogent rebuttal when getting all defensive about your silly emo drama being flamed.

    Avatar of Duny
    Comment by Duny
    06:25 02/07/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Finally a great response to that "YOU CAN'T CRITICIZE ______ BECAUSE YOU'VE NEVER MADE ANYTHING BETTER" BS, you sir rock!

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:42 27/04/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Hi, I'm a Key fan.

    And you're a heartless dick.

    Comment by Rincewind
    03:27 20/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    You sir are obviously not living in Discworld. There the popularity is a quantifier universal of... well, of existence. Just ask any god!

    Avatar of kajunbowser
    Comment by KajunBowser
    16:42 18/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Of course, their lives aren't complete without trolling over Clannad whenever any aspect of the franchise gets brought up. If all the data was backed up on FAKKU! for the last motemote, you'd see what I mean.

    Comment by plmko
    19:26 18/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    "possession of several light orbs"

    And I thought people on this site were joking when they mentioned Tomoya gathering Dragon balls to save Nagisa.

    Comment by Esuher
    17:00 18/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)


    I don't know why i watched the series... ahh, ooh wait.. maybe for the anime characters? bahh that's all.

    Another nonsense japanese anime with a stupid story which only japanese ppl can understand.

    lack of story like first person shooters..

    Comment by laughhe
    21:23 18/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Another Clannad hater #45789

    Avatar of misterchef
    Comment by Riot Gear
    18:32 18/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    i really love to shoot you first so you can keep your whiny mouth inside your @$$.

    Avatar of Redloner
    Comment by Anonymous
    22:21 18/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    look.. It's the FAILED HUMAN...!!

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:41 27/04/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    >Another nonsense japanese anime with a stupid story which only japanese ppl can understand.

    So... you're saying japan has a better grasp of time travel then we do?

    Comment by SnooSnoo
    13:31 18/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Lol @ Time Travel. Obviously some people didn't get the storyline.
    Remember the Super String theory? Remember Kotomi's fucking arc? Remember how Ryou says that there are many alternate realities out there? Tomoya just jumped to another one where his wife and daughter doesn't die, all the while saying "Good Bye fucking sadistic world."

    It's like Higurashi, except less gore and no killer lolis. lol time travel lol

    Avatar of Beef Curry
    Comment by Loli The Great
    13:13 18/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Fuuuuck, so many KEY haters in this topic. I don't give a shit though, i watched it and loved it until the last episode confused the shit out of me.

    Avatar of softbanker
    Comment by softbanker
    10:53 18/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    To Marine-RX179:
    > I never said I was superior just because I am not that emotionally attached to the anime. Yeah I was moved by the story and I was really entertained. And I almost read all your comments before I replied. All you talk is how REALLY confused you are with the ending and how really emotionally to were touched. geez that is sooooo boring. Some asked for it already and it was already answered tsk why ask again and discuss it over an over. You clannad fanboys has no mind of your own that you can't make up your own judgment? Anyway, it was always been my favorite to argue with clannad fanboys. the most favorite was in FAKKU where we get to vote on a MOTEMOTE characters battle. It was really funny how clannad fanboys raged and cried when tomoyo lost againts a rosario+vampire vampire Moka.

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:02 18/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    First I was like, I wish Key had never existed, then the world would have less overly-melodramatic soap opera nonsense for emo teens with traumatic upbringings to watch in between cutting sessions.

    Then I was like, wait, but then I'd never have been able to watch...


    I thought about it for a minute, and I couldn't think of a single thing Key has done that I'd give a damn about if it were gone.

    Therefore: burn, Key, burn.

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:45 27/04/2012 # ! Neutral (0)


    Comment by Anonymous
    10:33 18/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Fucking Keymo.

    Comment by Kuranado suki
    09:50 18/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Clannad is ultimate win. I haven't experienced anything until I experienced Clannad.

    Avatar of metatron
    Comment by metatron
    11:13 18/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    LOL Key

    The Bible effect...someone dies = a miracle happens

    Comment by Louis
    11:14 18/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    The anime perfectly retold the story that the VN had. Its not like they purposely fixed the ending to save Nagisa with some miracles and shit.

    Comment by jonaht
    13:03 18/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Thanks for the chart. I'm missing in the middle. >.<

    Avatar of Yangth
    Comment by Yangth
    12:42 18/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    lol @ Kyou route :D

    Comment by Vetus
    11:26 18/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    In two word, it was because of the light orbs (that he collected after helping others) that the miracle happened and a time travelling was made. Hmmmm. That explaings everything. It wasn't need the game's scenario at the diagram to understand the plot.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:27 08/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    *reads the comments halfway or so* Well, I like this anime, it depends on ones opinion of what's good. I like the ending too. It's not perfect, but it's got a permanent place in my brain. Heck, I even cried, so that's proof I like it.

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:31 04/09/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Timeline 1: Misae Route
    Timeline 2: Tomoyo Route
    Timeline 3: Yukine Route
    Timeline 4: Kyou Route
    Timeline 5: Kappei Route
    Timeline 6: Sunohara Route
    Timeline 7: Kotomi Route
    Timeline 8: Fuuko Route
    Timeline 9: Koumura Route
    Timeline 10: Nagisa Route, Sanae arc, Yoshino arc, Ushio Route
    Timeline 11: Akio Route
    Timeline 12: As Tomoya has helped so many people in parallel worlds, the city performs a miracle and uses Tomoya's orbs to make Nagisa survive. True end.
    Timeline 13: Baseball route \o/
    Timeline 14: KyoAni makes an anime adaptation and tries to fit ten/eleven timelines into a single consistent story (not sure if they integrated Koumura's small route. They left out the whole character Kappei, so at least that one is gone).

    None of the Tomoyas know each other. The city sees everything. KyoAni tries to put inconsistent storylines together.

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:44 16/01/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    God I love this anime. The first season but cute but mediocre. "After Story," however, blow me away.

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:26 31/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I disagree with the posted Timeline as it doesn't make sense with the anime presentation.

    Here is my own timeline

    Timeline 1 (never shown)
    Nagisa and Tomoya get together but Tomoya doesn't help out anyone and Nagisa dies, Ushio dies later. Tomoya is transported back in time to the "Hill";

    Timeline 2 (start time "Hill")
    Nagisa and Tomoya get together and he helps out people but Nagisa dies because he doesn't have enough orbs (but gets more later on). Fuko meets Ushio via Tomoya. Ushio later dies. Tomoya dies as well but is transported back in time to when Nagisa is in labor (in Timeline 2, both Nagisa and Tomoya seem to have memories of or are connect to a parallel world where Ushio exists in some alternate form)

    Timeline 3 (start time "Nagisa in labor")
    Tomoya has enough orbs and is able to prevent Nagisa from dying. Ushio lives a healthy life. Fuko meets Ushio in the forest. Tomoya, Fuko, Ushio and Nagisa have a picnic in the forest.

    I disagree with the original posted timeline since if the after events when Nagisa died were actually part of the first Timeline1 then why do they continually reference people who would have been involved in the Drama Club? (which couldn't have happened if Tomoya wasn't helping them out as Timeline1 states).

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:07 24/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I think your timeline theory makes the most sense of the mish-mash from the above-mentioned diagram.

    Here....have some bread (Sanae made it :) )

    Comment by Kamikaze
    10:17 07/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    then what its the order for watch properly the anime?

    Avatar of Hong Xiang Yue
    Comment by Hong Xiang Yue
    15:30 20/06/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Clannad - Will be an Anime masterpiece forever.

    Comment by TM
    15:42 23/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Wow... Clannad's ending is causing probably as much controversy as School Days -__-'
    I personally really liked the series (whereas I HATED School Days) and I don't find the need to bash on the ending or any part of it.
    I thought the ending was pretty much.... predictable? Clannad always had that magically feeling tied to it (especially with the alternative universe) so even if it wasn't "time travel", Tomoya could've just went to another identical world where Nagisa lives ^^
    So... I'm pretty satisfied with how it ended up and I really recommend =) Although I loved Kyou and I wish they could've expanded more on her character T___T

    Avatar of Exia
    Comment by Exia
    03:57 19/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Yes this diagram does clear some things up. Finished After story couple of hours ago and I'm pretty happy with the ending. Cheers for Clannad and it's funny/sad/and enjoyable moment's.

    Avatar of Actar
    Comment by Actar
    03:02 19/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Wow, the ending was much better than I expected and am indeed glad that we got a happy end. Some of the things that were interesting to note was that:


    - Ushio was the girl in the first opening running though the sunflower field.

    - They brought back the light orbs and supernatural aspect back into the story.

    End of SPOILERS

    Overall, great Anime and definitely worth the watch. Though it is kinda sad at times and will force you to reexamine your life, especially when you are still in school and sucking at most things...

    Comment by Kei
    23:50 18/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    phew!! avoided spoilers after i open the diagram, I haven't finish after story...

    Comment by pluki7
    19:54 19/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Clannad = flame wars

    Avatar of Omochikaeri
    Comment by Omochikaeri
    21:30 19/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    The enormous spoonfeeding from the last anime episode wasn't enough?

    Comment by belldandy2009
    22:54 19/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I don't understand this timeline crap, anyway...

    Comment by Takuya-kun
    22:20 19/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    idk wit you but my thoughts:

    i think people find the ending confusing because they think that ushio and the girl in the other world are exactly the same person.

    i think otherwise, i think the girl is just ushio's counterpart in that world the same way the garbage doll is to tomoya but they are not the same entities. if you remember the concept of kotomi's parents there exists many worlds and there can be some connection between these worlds but i doubt the same entity can exist in both

    a lot of people were waiting like when is ushio gonna die and become that girl? when the girl "died" we were confused coz were trying to find where it goes to that, but the thing is that girl only had an awareness of ushio and tomoya the same way tomoya had an awareness of the girl and the garbage doll, knowing that the garbage doll can have a connection with his real world counterpart, and knowing that tomoya had an awareness of the garbage doll's experiences in the other world, she only did what was needed to relay the message of hope to tomoya

    but im really sure that time did turn back in the ending, using the power of the light orbs to grant a miracle

    so my conclusion:

    there is only 1 timeline is terms of how many real worlds exists, i doubt there is another real world which tomoya's consciousness suddenly just gets transported to where nagisa is alive and the other one is where she is dead, there is only 1 real world

    there are 2 dimesions, the real world and the imaginary world, ushio is the counterpart of the girl as tomoya is to the garbage doll but they are not the same entities

    in that one real world timeline, time was turned back and events were changed in terms of nagisa surviving her delivery


    well just my 2 cents, ill be leaving these to the "experts"

    Avatar of alex1_phang3
    Comment by alex1_phang3
    21:56 19/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    This is handy indeed, for I must now watch all the episodes

    Comment by Izu Taisa
    09:49 18/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    and i dunno clannad actually is time travelling story >_> .and actually the sad end in movie is fixed into good ending

    Comment by shalala
    02:31 18/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    clannad is a grreat anime

    Avatar of yggr
    Comment by Yggr
    02:38 18/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    lol drama + minfuck + BAWWWWW

    Avatar of yggr
    Comment by Yggr
    Comment by Yeahx3
    02:06 18/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    The ending sucked. They should have left it at "Tomoya learns through the hardships that family is the most important thing in life" and "he's been selfish but finally realizes, thanks to all the ppl he met, how his father sacrificed everything to raise him and how happy he was with Nagisa and now Ushio"

    Avatar of repure
    Comment by repure
    02:08 18/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    so how the hell did clannad suck again?

    Comment by Anon101
    03:15 18/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    you know that Tomoya remember everything right?
    You know that it is not a total reset right?

    Or are you an idiot who need to be force feed with info just to get a simple story?

    Comment by Yeahx3
    14:25 18/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Yes, but they got resurrected in a non-sensical way. It was more powerful if all the drama had happened for a reason instead of "lol, there is no way we can explain how Ushio is the girl of the other world, she just is"...too much deux ex machina for me

    Comment by velvet
    23:48 18/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    and you know exactly what deus ex machina is.


    Comment by Anonymous
    18:50 27/04/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    It wasn't nonsensical. Sure, it was a Deus ex Machina, but it was the Magic Light Orbs Tomoya collected because he helped people.

    Look, it made more sense in Visual Novel because you had to collect all the light orbs by playing it more than once, okay?

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